Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Rasetshwane: The brains behind Dinokeng Youth Expo

Growing up in the tiny village of Mathubudukwane in the Kgatleng District, Anthony Rasetshwane had just one aspiration; to become a community builder and leader. 

Rasetshwane so much loved community work he quit the army just nine months into the job so he could go back and help in community development projects back home. 

The 36-year-old go-getter was raised by her single mother, together with her two siblings. He schooled at Letsebe Primary School and Madikwe Junior Secondary School before proceeding for his O’Levels at Moeding College where he graduated in 2000. 

On completion, and while trying to find tertiary placement, Rasetshwane tried his luck with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and got hired at the rank of Private.  Nine months into the job and he felt he had pursued a wrong career. 

“It was difficult as I had to consult my family and let them know of my intention to quit the army,” he says. Luckily, his family respected his decision and supported his move. He says he had to quit early before committing himself on financial loans which would have made it difficult for him to resign as he would have had financial obligations to meet.  

He says back in Mathubudukwane people suspected he was mentally disturbed as they couldn’t understand why he quit the army to go back to the village with no prospects of employment or business opportunity.  

He then approached Kgosi Michael Balebetse and offered to assist in any of the community initiatives. His dedication and hard work didn’t go unnoticed as he was eventually elected chairman of the Village Development Committee (VDC). 

At the same time, Rasetshwane re-sat for the English examinations to improve his Form Five grades whereupon completion he was admitted at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology to study for a Diploma in Public Relations. 

He had no choice but to relinquish his VDC chairmanship and concentrate on his tertiary studies. He graduated in 2007 and it was at the same time that he became active in politics. He represented the opposition in 2014 at council level and came short of victory by just 90 votes. 

He continued to do community work and eventually met a like-minded youth, Bafana Kube, who Rasetshwane’s vision of coming up with an initiative that could bring together the youth in their village. 

They registered Baitshoki Youth Group, a non-profit organisation that focused on youth-oriented projects. In 2015, they organised the first annual Dinokeng Youth Entrepreneurial Exposition. The reception was not satisfactory but it provided some lessons and experience for Rasetshwane and his colleagues. 

Last year the group staged a successful expo that attracted exhibitors from Mathubudukwane and other villages in the Kgatleng District.  They had Botswana Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer Thapelo Tsheole as guest speaker and organisations such as the Local Enterprise Authority, Apex Properties and the Kgatleng District Council showcased their services at the expo. 

This year, the expo will be held on July 1 and the guest speaker will be Dumi Lopang, Chairman of the Exponential, a citizen-owned company which owns one of the CBD’s iconic buildings, the Exponential Building. 

Rasetshwane has attributed his hard work to passion for his community. He says he believes the youth needs to lead from the front now and not tomorrow.  He was recently head-hunted by Kgatleng East MP Isaac Davids to become his Senior Administrator. He is also the Chairperson of Madikwe School Parents and Teachers Association. He was also at some point a Board member of Mathubudukwane Sub-land Board. 

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